(Review originally written at 12 November 2007)

The movie is a realistic retelling of the events involving the Zodiac killer. Crimes that as of yet still haven't been solved. The movie is told from many different viewpoints, such as the reporters that receive his letters and the police. Because of the different approaches the movie always knows to grab your attention and interest, without having to ever fall back onto some Hollywood clichés. It of course helps that the writer of the novel Robert Graysmith worked himself on this movie project for years. The story at all times is kept realistic. Some people might find it odd and distracting that the movie focuses on so many different characters and the movie doesn't really have one main character who's solving the crimes.

What I loved most about the movie was that it without problems crosses 4 different decades. The movie begins in the late '60's, then the '70's and for a small part even the '80's and '90's. The atmosphere, style of movie-making is all consistent with the decade the movie is set in at the moment. The movie knows to re-create a perfect '60's and '70's look, in a very detailed and realistic way. I think this mostly explains the movie its very high budget.

The movie also shows how an interest for something can turn into an obsession. It does this subtle and non-forced. I also liked it that the movie never got too personal or close with any of the characters within the movie. This type of movie could had easily been turned into a over-dramatized one, but the movie deliberately focuses purely on the one main essence of the movie; Who is the Zodiac killer? A question that of course gets never answered within the movie but the search for the answer alone is already a tense and exciting long process.

The movie is filled with some big-name actors, such as Robert Downey Jr. I like how he always seems to play a caricature of himself. And eccentric, free-spirit, drug/drink addict. He's great in his role in this movie! Jake Gyllenhaal has never convinced me before of being the right man- and have the capabilities of playing a main character and carry an entire movie but with this movie he comes close of showing he can do it. Other actors that give a nice performance in this movie are Mark Ruffalo and Elias Koteas, among others, while other big name actors play some very small parts in the movie, such as Brian Cox, Adam Goldberg and Clea DuVall.

It's far from David Fincher's best work, but that says more something about the qualities of Fincher than about this actual movie.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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